Sunday, December 26, 2010

So that was 2010...

So normally at this time of the year, I'd be writing a witty review of the past 12 months, explaining what date from 2010 would remain etched on my memory, or what the best thing that I bought was, but this year, I feel like a change.

Since "we" (for that, read "The Drummer") invested in a new camera, I've become increasingly obsessed with it (particularly the macro setting for taking arty-farty close-ups of things) as well as hugely enjoying the fact that my phone finally has a decent camera on it to document the less-important things of life (mostly via twitter, much to your collective amusements!) I've decided that in 2011, I want to develop this (limited) skill, and so, I've set myself the following two challenges:
  1. At some point during the month, I will actually use our camera to take pictures, hopefully getting in to the habit of actually using our beautiful piece of kit, which I will then post on my blog.

  2. On the last day of each month (or, you know, the closest to it that I'm sitting still for long enough to upload them) I'll post a collage of "Moments from the Month" captured on my iPhone.
So, in keeping with those challenges, here are a few of the highlights of 2010...

The Drummer, The Isle of Wight festival, Weddings, Holidays,
Family, Christmas

Snow, Food, Advent Calenders, Shoe Mountain, Games,
More food, Christmas Presents

So, 2011, lets see what you come up with...

Love, etc.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Christmas has officially started. A little earlier than previous years, admittedly, but started it has. Ah, I hear you cry, but it's been Advent since November come Christmas has only just officially started?

Every Christmas since I was nine, I've been my school Carol Service which has had the same reading and the same format since time immemorial. It was always on the last night of term, and always ended with the Headmaster reading John 1v1-14 and Hark, the Herald Angels Sing. Those two things always meant the holidays were about to start, and even now, whenever I hear someone reading that passage, I can't help but look forward to Christmas. I heard it early this year, and it wasn't read by the right person (hasn't been since he retired in 2004) but now I've heard it? Christmas all the way :)

I like official Christmastime :)

Love, etc.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Stream of Consciousness

Because there is no time to sit down and devote a blog post to all of these things, join me on a whistle-stop tour through my brain, life and times of late...

Nice having my husband home. Nice is an understatement. Delightfully stress-free on the home-front; I love living with my best friend. He buys me Lego Harry Potter and lends me the car so I don't have to get the train after rehearsals. Driving is a whole new level of fun now I can do it. People need to learn to indicate though. Really. Makes me mad. Which makes me tireder. I am tired. Mentally & physically exhausted. Too tired to be creative where I used to be. My creativity that used to be used here is taken by lesson plans and teaching the little cherubs. And designing lighting plots for the school play (long distance lighting plots in fact, since it turns out that I'm in Weymouth the same weekend as the Technical Rehearsal) Thinking and writing in all my waking moments. Writing here (rare) Writing on another blog project that I have been shamelessly neglecting this for. Writing lessons. Writing presentations. Writing assignments. For someone who likes to write, it's almost too much. Getting published at the end of it would make it all worthwhile. Using contacts is the only way to succeed in this game. RJ laying his hands on obselete R4 programs I need. Old school ties coming in to play (I hope) Sound Man going on tour with Take That. Fun. Having rediscovered the joy of Sunday night pubbage, I'm dragging my social life out the gutter that it has slumped into since September. Dancing in Holborn, iceskating, wedding planning (with friends) Getting righteously indignant on their behalf. Controlling myself for the sake of those around me. Lessons to be learnt all round.

I've seen the Coke advert; holidays are coming. Sanity will soon be restored.

Love, etc.

Monday, October 11, 2010


There are people in life who make you want to be better, whether that be academically, on the sports field or just in every day. If they tried, I'm pretty sure everyone could think of at least one person who inspires them and makes them want to be the best they can be.

There are various people at various stages of my life who have held that role for me - at GCSE & A-level, there was the Epic Historian. The sheer level of his knowledge and expertise made me *want* to be better at History. He was bold, but ruthless. If you got an A from him, you knew you deserved it, but you also knew that whatever grade you did get, he'd be alongside you putting in the time and work needed to get you the grade you wanted. If I can teach like him one day, I'll be happy. The Huntress (my PGCE course convener) now occupies that position. Her knowledge of all-things English is second to none, and if I retire with even 50% of the knowledge and skills she has, I'll feel like I've done a good job as a teacher.

Then there's RJ. He & his wife have watched me grow and develop over the last five years (not without some fairly hefty input of their own it has to be said!) He challenges me sometimes as often as weekly on my attitude over various things and various people; he tries (more or less successfully) to keep me on the right paths. Same goes for The Godfather. If I let either of these people down, or felt they were disappointed in me in some way, I would feel beyond terrible. I aspire to have a heart like these two. If I manage that, I'll feel like I've done a half-decent job as a human being.

I aspire to these levels of academia, of achievement, of character. I see where I am now, and where I want to be one day, and I see ways of getting there. I can see the temptations and problems along the way, and I can see what is always going to help me most...

"For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good and not
for evil, to give you a future and a hope."
Jeremiah 29:11

Love, etc.

Monday, September 20, 2010

You are what you Tweet

This one has been bubbling for a while in my head, particularly this last week with the furor over the Pope's visit to England. I'm not a Catholic; I disagree with a lot of what Catholics believe, and I think £12m was possibly slightly excessive for a 4-day visit when an emphasis of the priesthood is to live simply BUT I do think that as the figurehead of a major world religion and the head of a State, however small it may be, the Pope deserved to be able to come to Britain unchallenged and safe from abuse. By all means, take him to task about various views he might hold, or things he's allowed to go ultimately unchallenged in his church, but give him the basic respect that his position merits.
*steps off soapbox**

ANYWAY. Twitter. I've actually unfollowed people this week based on their views and what they have tweeted. They probably won't even notice; they probably don't even care, but to me, I don't want to be reading that, and I don't want people to read that when they come to my page. I have no problem with people expressing their views when backed up with educated fact/opinion, but when they are just tweeting abusive jokes or making disrespectful comments, I don't want to know. Stephen Fry will probably never even notice that he has one less follower, let alone even care, but I am what I tweet. I don't want my integrity questioned as a result of people I follow.

Love, etc.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Feeding The Cats

For the past 10 days, The Drummer & I have been feeding Profound Admirer's cats whilst she is away on holiday. When she asked me to help out, it didn't even occur to me to say no - its really not that taxing to put out their food and give them a cuddle each day. She & her husband are so lovely and supportive that it is nice to be able to help them out, albeit in such a small way.

The added bonus from my point of view is that they live a few minutes away from us, meaning that The Drummer and I have had a series of evening walks there and back where we have no iPhones, no tv, no internet, no distractions of any kind, other than passing minis and yellow cars. Coming at the end of increasingly busy days, I think I'm going to miss our walks when they get back at the end of the week.

"Every now and then, when the world sits just right, a gentle breath of heaven
fills my soul with delight..."
A Breath of Heaven by Hazelmarie ‘Mattie’ Elliott

Love, etc.

Saturday, September 11, 2010


Yesterday was a weird day. I thought I'd be spending the whole day being told what an amazing profession teaching was. I thought I'd be told it was a vocation and be persuaded that I was a fantastic person for wanting to spend my life teaching the youth of society. I thought it would be a day of paperwork and form-filling and dullness.

Don't get me wrong, all of the above was true, but there was also the overwhelming sense of utter confidence that the tutors had in us all. Person after person told us how they had seen something in us that would ultimately make a good teacher. The course convener told us how lucky we all were to be there since there had been so many applications; the Head of Department congratulated us on getting this far; the Vice-Chancellor spent (far) too long telling us how we were the hope of future generations (or something) But through it all, they kept telling us all how they'd chosen us. How they wanted us. How they believed in us.

Our English lecturer (lets call her The Huntress) really rammed it home during our subject induction in the afternoon. 242 people applied before she closed the course. She interviewed 71. 39 of us got places. She saw something in us that set us apart from everyone else who applied. She saw something in us that she can make good teachers out of. She believes in me more after a twenty minute interview than I believe in myself after 23 years.

Unexpected, but not altogether unwelcome.

Love, etc

Thursday, September 02, 2010

The Little Things

When I was waiting at the station last week for The Drummer to buy our tickets, the guy next to him, who was clearly in a very flustered rush, pulled out his wallet and dropped his pen. I leaned down to pick it up for him, and, with his reaction of “Oh....thankyou very much!” he seemed more than slightly surprised that I had done so. Later in that same train journey, a guy on a very crowded tube offered me his seat, which in turn left me surprised since that practically NEVER happens on the London Tube, even for pregnant women or older people.

Its sad when doing something so simple for someone else is seen as surprising, but the more I think about it, the more it seems that “self-first, others second” is the way to live. I don’t expect everyone to live to the same higher moral code to which I chose to hold myself accountable; not everyone shares the same religious views, and I wouldn’t expect that they should, but whether Christian, Muslim, Jew, Agnostic or Atheist, surely somewhere in each person there is the basic desire to do good. To do the right thing. To not look in the opposite direction when someone is in need. To just be human and to care.

Let’s change the world. One little thing at a time.

Love, etc.


Monday, August 02, 2010

I am what I am

I am what I am
I am my own special creation.
So come take a look,
Give me the hook or the ovation.
It's my world that I want to take a little pride in,
My world, and it's not a place I have to hide in.
Life's not worth a damn,
'Til you can say, "Hey world, I am what I am."
from "Les Cage aux Folles"

I've realised recently how competitive life can be. Literally everywhere there are people competing to out-do each other - to lose the most weight, to earn the most money, to have the best clothes, to get the best degree results, to be the best singer, to be the best most best, and the worst thing about it - it seems to now be ok to be overtly open with your methods of proof. To make sure that everyone knows that you are the best at or have the most X, Y or Z and to be seen to be at the very tippiest top of whatever heap you've crushed under you on the way up.

I can only speak for myself when I say - being content with what you have is the only way to be peaceful with who you are. Obviously there are practicalities...a little more money each month would be lovely (particularly given the STONKING car bill the garage presented us with this afternoon) but then, how much more is enough? If you have more, you want more. And so on, and so on. Winning these competitions will never make you content enough. Competing is not healthy. Competing doesn't make you happy. Competing doesn't make you complete.

I'm not going to lie: I used to be up there competing with the best of them. Look at me, look at my grades, look at this, look at that. But then I realised there's much more to life than material things. People's adoration is temporary at best. "Stuff" is not the be all and end all of life. What matters is the things that last. What matters is that I have integrity and can stand before my friends and my God with no guilt. To be happy with who I am and what I do.

And I can do that. Come join me...

Love, etc.

Thursday, June 17, 2010


So with The Drummer in Milan this week, I have, in part, reverted to my single student ways - staying up until 2am doing nothing at all online, going on epic shopping days, and drinking copious amounts of wine at girly sleepovers to name but a few.

It was at one of these such sleepovers that I realised quite how spoilt I really am. When he gets home tomorrow, The Drummer will have been away for just over 5 days. Five evenings of no cuddles; five nights of not seeing him; five nights of snatched phonecalls because it costs too much to pass the time of day like we normally would. Just five. My Littlest One had me over on Monday, fed me lasagne and gave me wine, all because she knew I'd be sad at not seeing The Drummer. The one person amongst my friends who has the best excuse to turn round and tell me to man up looked after me and loved me and didn't laugh at me in my spoiltness. She sees her boyfriend maybe three times A TERM. In the 6 years they've been together, they've spent maybe a total of 18 months actually in each others company since leaving school. And I was sobbing over 5 days. I really need to man up.

I'm spoilt rotten seeing him every day. I know that. Doesn't mean I'm not counting the hours until his plane lands tomorrow though.

Love, etc.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

How to tell you're really not ready...

I love children. Love them. I babysat enough at university that I didn't need to get a job. Day or night, I'm pretty much guaranteed to say yes if asked to babysit. This week, a friend's nanny was away on holiday so I covered the afternoon school run and filled the gap until dinner when the parents returned.

One of the days was music lesson day, and, being more than used to swimming lesson day for this particular family, I thought I had it covered. Got them all from various schools; got them to the lesson on time; even got them toileted and sitting down quietly.

What I didn't bank on (since I normally fed them before swimming) was a very tired, cranky child post-music lesson. What I definitely didn't bank on was the Mummy Mafia judging me when I had to raise my voice to get the bookbag and coat picked up - all the eyes of the mothers from the class that had just finished and all the mothers waiting for the next class. Waiting and watching to see who would back down first. Whispering. Judging. They weren't even my children and I felt inadequate.

All broodiness aside, I'm not ready for feeling that everytime I go out. I'm not ready to be a mum. I'll stick to giving them back at the end of the day for the moment.

Love, etc.

Oh, and for all of you wondering...he lost. I sat back down and told him that we'd wait until he picked them up, even it that took an hour. It took 10 seconds for him to look at my face and realise I was serious, and another 5 for him to pick them up.

Friday, May 28, 2010


People say a lot of the joy of something is in the anticipation. The waiting, the hoping, the dreaming. I'm anticipating many MANY things this year, not least my honeymoon. The very fact that I can go on holiday with The Drummer - something we made a decision not to do at all until after we were married, makes me so unbelievably happy. That he's taking me to my favourite city that I get to introduce him to. That he's taking me to my favourite hotel in said city. That I get to spend every minute, awake and asleep with him.

During the course of our relationship, we've often discussed and re-discussed our choice. There have been opportunities and temptations to change our minds, to take the nice, easy choice and go, but every time one of us reminds the other of our reasons for making the decision in the first place. The choices we've made back up our beliefs, and give no-one cause to doubt or question us. Denying ourselves the treat of going away together leaves our integrity as a Christian couple intact and without blemish. And it makes the anticipation of July even more special.

It's going to be the best holiday ever. If they ever get my flipping passport sorted out...

Love, etc.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Giving it some thought

In today's instant society, it can be all too easy to buy first and think later. To think that you need something and buy it without a second thought. Definitely no consideration of what message you're sending out by owning such and such, and certainly no thought for who is benefiting from your purchase.

I'm probably just as guilty of this as the next person (ironically this thought struck me when I was reading Marie "perfect body at high cost" Claire, of all things) but seeing the latest GHD advert, it really struck me again. I've always been more than a little uncomfortable with the GHD advertising premise of the Seven Deadly Sins, and personally, have never chosen to subscribe to that marketing campaign by buying any. Their latest is to assign colors to each of the seven deadly signs - red lust, green envy and the like with suitably seductively posed models. The colors are the marketing gimmick to pull people in, without necessarily realising what they are supporting with their purchase.

What do your choices say about you?

Love, etc.

Monday, May 24, 2010


Life at the moment doesn't tend to leave time for spontaneity. (Or for blogging for that matter!) An endless whirl of seeing friends and family. Planning X, Y and Z for the wedding. Moving house three times. Babysitting. Finishing an old job and doing preparatory work for a new one. Going to the gym. Eating. Sleeping.

Tonight we decided we wanted to go on a road trip to find some dinner. At quarter to eleven at night. The Burger King will have done no good for my diet, and the late night will have done me no good for my energy levels come the morning, but that half an hour spent driving through Windsor Great Park listening to Dream Theatre at full blast? The best thirty minutes I've had in a very very long time.

Spontaneity. Underrated.

Love, etc.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Another angle

Because The Drummer is fabulous, he got me front row seats for Les Miserables for my birthday, which meant I spent my birthday night just feet away from the orchestra, the stage, the lights and the sound equipment (and the cast of FABULOUS musicians who make up my favourite musical of all time ever, obviously)

Geekery aside, I do love this show very much, the music is so amazingly varied and always sung faultlessly by whomever happens to be playing the role each time I see it - even though its never the same, each actor brings their own slant to the role. And I can never NEVER have enough of beautiful tenor voices singing in close harmony. Shivers down the spine doesn't begin to describe the magic of being surrounded by so much beautiful music.

However, seeing as how I can never put my geekery totally to one side, even when lost in the magic of Les Mis, I found myself noticing little things - how Marius climbed the gate too quickly and had to wait a couple of seconds until it had rotated fully in to the light before he delivered his line; how the the drummer in the orchestra wasn't quite as close to the floor as he thought and dropped his sticks when he was trying to put them down during a quick change; how utterly seamless and invisible the scene changes all were - you saw the stagehands ONCE when they had to move a table with candles on it. Other than that, you saw absolutely nothing. The lighting was so clever; the staging so well thought out. And every night it is that flawless. The backstage and technical staff are so precisely trained so that their work is of a level with that of the actors - everything comes together night after night to deliver an amazing production. The standing ovation it receives each night is testament to that.

The perfection and attention to detail made me realise that, in many ways, my old boss had simply been trying to produce the absolutely best show all round that he could each time we opened the theatre. Essentially, his heart was in the right place to get The Studio the best name and reputation and profile it could have. To give the actors the closest to a professional experience that they could get outside a real theatre. To raise the profile of drama and technical theatre within the curriculum and the school as a whole. He certainly didn't go about it in the right way, but I can see how that, in his way, he was simply trying to do his job to the best standard he could possibly deliver. He wasn't right, but now I can see that he wasn't as wrong as my mind made him be.

The night I got the job, I wrote that I knew there was a plan for my time there. Tuesday night went some way to healing the damage that forgetting about that certainty of a plan for the subsequent three months while I was working there. I'm still hurt and angry about my time there. There are still some things that need healing, and that will take time, but sat in a theatre for the first time since leaving my job, I realised I'll never be prouder of a piece of work than when the curtain closed after my first show. People sat and watched *my* work, appreciated *my* artistry, acknowledged *my* skills. And I don't do that to myself enough.

Love, etc.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Hot Coals and Grace

Being graceful when all you want to do is smack someone is really hard. When all you want to do is shout at them, being graceful is SO hard. Smiling. Laughing. Being normal. Acting as if they haven't gotten to you. Trying to understand where they're coming from and why they act the way they do. Loving them like Jesus would.

Knowing its what you should be doing doesn't make it any easier though. Knowing its what you should do as a Christian. Knowing how lucky you are and realising what they don't have. Counting your blessings and sharing what you have with them. Loving them like Jesus would.

Forgiving them. Starting each day fresh. Not holding grudges. Praying for them. Realising how liberating that is. And wondering why you've never done it before.

Love, etc.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Making Bread

An off-the-cuff comment this morning during the sermon this morning about the widow using a Kenwood mixer instead of making the bread by hand struck me in a way nothing has from the pulpit for quite some time.

In leafy Surrey, breadmakers are quite the thing to have. Home-made fresh bread gracing your table is a statement about your lifestyle, and now breadmakers give even the fullest of full-time workers that little extra homely touch with ease. No more hours kneading the bread mix and waiting for the yeast to rise; just bread in your hands an hour later. You can even get the bread mix pre-mixed - no need to even measure out the ingredients.

And it got me to thinking -a relationship with God is more than a little like making bread. Today's Christian society seems to have fallen into a "breadmaker" sitting, listening, taking rut - we go to church as the bread mix, and have everything mixed up for us at a minimum of personal effort and then expect the end product to be as satisfying as others tell them it is. It works, but how beneficial is it? A child will never learn a basic fact of human life by watching mummy fill up the breadmaker - they'll learn by getting their hands dirty and experiencing step by step the process of making bread. I for one never want to be in a position of saying to someone searching for Christ that "it just is" or "that's just what happens" because I don't have any experience to share with them.

When did society start telling us that the simplest, easiest way was the best? And when did we, as Christians, start accepting that that was true?

I think its time we got our mixing bowls out.

Love, etc.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Open Your Eyes

I didn't even realise until Saturday that I have a side of the train. At least, I'd rather that as an excuse than I've been living here for four years and getting the train to town most weeks without even SEEING half the scenery that flies past the window. I missed artwork, I missed parks, I missed the most beautiful stately home, which gobsmacked me.

What else have I been doing for four years and just not seeing things how they really are? What else have I been missing for even longer?

What have YOU been missing?

Love, etc.

Monday, February 01, 2010


Since getting engaged, The Drummer and I have been subject to a lot of opinions. Most of them welcome; nearly all of them truly excited for us; but some, unfortunately were not. Some people felt the need to tell me I was making a mistake, rushing in to things, settling for what I had, butting in where they had no right to be making comment.

To those that have watched us grow together as a couple, our engagement came as no surprise. They can see what we know - that we are perfect together. We were made for each other - I am his Spare Rib -I was made, ultimately, to be The Drummer's Wife. That was a huge part of what has been ordained for me and for my life, so why would I want to delay that? Why would I not want to start fulfilling my Promise now for the rest of my life? Maybe some people don't feel that; some people aren't sure after a year, so for them, waiting is the right thing. I can speak only for myself in saying that I'm sure.

I'm also sure that I'm not settling. I settled for the last guy I "dated" and boy did that mess me up. I spent a vast amount of time worrying that I would have to "settle" for the person I was going to spend the rest of my life with. I worried that I would have to "settle" for the father of my children. I worried that nobody would ever want to "settle" for me. And Someone changed all that. I was given The Drummer to show me that I *am* worth something far more than I ever could think of myself. To show me that settling is stupid - The Drummer is so much more than I could have ever hoped for or dreamed of. Settling leads dangerously to complacency. With The Drummer, I am striving every day to stay worthy of the love he gives me.

We are the first to acknowledge that we would be nothing without our God. Without Him, we wouldn't have been at St Johns. Without Him, we wouldn't have done Mosaic. Without Him, we wouldn't be together. He is the reason we are who we are, together, and apart, and it is in front of Him that we are making our vows.

A chord of three strands isn't easily broken, no matter how hard anyone wants to try.

Love, etc.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Diamonds and things

"A diamond is merely a lump of coal that did well under pressure"

Its not just because I have one permanently attached to my left ring-finger that this quote spoke volumes to me the other day, although it is symbolic of my perfect ending to the dating chapter of my life.

Heat and pressure turn coal into diamond. Extreme heat and pressure. When you think about a diamond like that, it makes you realise that sometimes, the heat and the pressure can turn out something even better than the original material it was working with.

I sometimes wonder if they people applying the pressure would do so if they knew what the end result might be.

Love, etc.

Sunday, January 17, 2010


Because I'm a little bit of a physics nerd, I know a little bit about waves. I spent four hours last night watching them when I should have been dancing with an *extremely* attractive-in-his-tux Drummer at Mrs Daniel's Birthday Party. Officially. A. Geek. But it did make me think. Because I know a little about waves, I could see how they were going to affect the boat. I could tell the big bolshy Thames Clipper that kept accelerating and cutting across to cause as much wash as they could would rock the boat and I might want to hold on to something; the little tugs that pootled past caused nothing more than a gentle bob; the incoming tide merely a gentle up and down motion that, after many years of sailing with my parents and now with The Drummer and his parents, merely left me with a slight swaying sensation that was still present when I got home and went to bed.

As I watched the lights of London drift past, I got to thinking about how life comes in waves. Sometimes you see them coming, and can prepare by holding on. Sometimes the knowledge of how the wave is going to affect you can help you deal with them. Sometimes you just don't see them coming at all because you're too busy.

Last night's too busy ended up with an undignified stumble into The Drummers watchful arms. We might not all be so lucky all the time to have someone to catch us from the waves.

Love, etc.

Friday, January 01, 2010

The best so far...

In many ways, the most horrendous. In the ways that matter, the best so far (compare here and here if you don't believe me!!)

1. What did you do in 2009 that you'd never done before? Got my pink driving licence of DREAMS. Got engaged.

2. Did you keep your new year's resolutions, and will you make more for 2010? I wrote that I wanted to end 2009 "happy with who I am and content with myself" I'm not overly sure that I achieved that - I'm still definitely not my biggest fan, but I'm getting better. More of the same for 2010 I think.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? Profound Admirer had her little baby boy, and The Drummer's work colleagues baby made us both horrendously broody. But all in good time.

4. Did anyone close to you die? Thankfully not.

5. What countries did you visit? Miss Africa & I started the first of many "Girls on Tour" city breaks with a return to Roma :D

6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?
I genuinely can't think of anything!! I'm looking forward to having a husband and living full-time for real in Egham :)

7. What dates from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

17th January
- getting together with The Drummer
23rd December -
getting engaged to The Drummer

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? Going back to work after TPS.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Not being able to stay at the Job of Dreams once it got horrendous (although having recently discovered that they've since lost another technician, I don't feel quite as much of a failure)

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Swine Flu. And some stress.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Rediscovering leggings has drastically altered my wardrobe. And I have three different bags of dreams. Good times.

12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?
The Drummer just because. He was my utter rock through everything this year, holding my hand as I learnt various lessons, and always being there. I love him.
My various mums & dads, particularly my second family Chez Holloway

13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?
Its sad that this answer has been the same for the last three years. Maybe 2010 is the year to finally let this one go. Friends are for seasons, and this one is over.

14. Where did most of your money go?
South West Trains.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Angels & Demons, Harry Potter 6, Cattle Grid, seeing Bill Bailey at the O2, going back to Rome, moving back to Egham :)

16. What songs will always remind you of 2009? Dizzee Rascal "Dance Wiv Me" and Black Eyed Peas "Boom Boom Pow" for the gang, "Omen" by Prodigy and Lady Gaga's "PokerFace" reminding me of Rock Challenge, and Ben Harper "Beloved One" and Snow Patrol "Chasing Cars" for my man

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) Happier or sadder?
Happier. Very very much so :)
b) Thinner or fatter?
Much fatter, sadly. Wii Fit has been ordered - I have a wedding dress to slim down for!!
c) Richer or poorer?
Richer, actually. Hello full-time job!!

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Again, I can safely say that I have no regrets about this year. That is good enough for me.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Its probably going to involve food/wine consumption. How sad!

20. How did you spend Christmas? Missing The Drummer horrendously, but very much enjoying sparkling my ring at anyone who cared (and a lot who didn't) and playing with my new laptop. I've certainly had worse ones!!

21. Did you fall in love in 2009?
Totally and utterly head over heels.

22. What was your favourite TV program?
Same old same old. Apprentice and Strictly. I am a creature of habit! I also introduced The Drummer to The West Wing, and we revived his Star Trek and X-Files collections.

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
No. If the happiness of my life inspires such vitriol and immaturity in other people's actions, then I should be feeling pity, not hate.

25. What was the best book you read?
Does the entire Penny Vincenzi catalogue count? Or a revival of Patricia Cornwell? I'm not sure they count as "books" really...

26. What was your greatest musical discovery?
The Count of Tuscany by Dream Theatre

27. What did you want and get?
The man of my dreams, and a sparkly diamond ring

28. What did you want and not get?
I genuinely can't think of anything! This worries me - clearly I'm not grown up to the point of realising that the things I wanted and didn't get are for my own good, and thus shouldn't be wished for again (yes, this concerns me!)

29. What was your favourite film of this year? Angels & Demons. Without doubt.

30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
22 and I got a job. Good times.

31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
A certain Boss of Doom falling under a bus. Preferably at my fair hand.

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009?
I have no idea. But The Drummer seems to like it.

33. What kept you sane?
The Godfather. Every year its the same - I mess up, I tell him, he laughs, he makes it better. And my Drummer. I couldn't do it without him.

34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I'm still Anton's biggest fan, even if he is a bit of a div.

35. What political issue stirred you the most? I could care less about politics. I really could.

36. Who did you miss?
Apart from the vomit-inducing obvious answer of "The Drummer" I think it would have to be Kristen (still) and Ria and Hen when they ran away to Spain.

37. Who was the best new person you met?
It would be impossible to chose between Ed, Rob and my future in-laws.

38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009:
that I'm a lot stronger and a lot more capable than I give myself credit for. Also that a lot of people in the world are out for themselves with no thought for others - I'm too trusting.

39. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
Your eyes shine through me
You are so divine to me
Your heart has a home in mine
We won't have to say a word
With a touch all shall be heard
When I search my heart it's you I find

Despite the job, despite everything that came after it, despite it being officially the worst few months I've ever lived through, I still consider this year to have been the best. I found my soul mate (or at least, he found me and I realised what I was almost missing) and now he wants me to be his wife. As reasons for being happy go, that's one of the best.

Love, etc.